Sunday, June 27, 2010

My Favorite 4th of July Recipes

In honor of the 4th coming up, I wanted to share some of my favorite summer party recipes.

Thirst-quenching Summer Sweet Tea
BBQ Pulled Chicken Sandwiches
Cranberry & Feta Orzo Pasta Salad
Mini Corn Dogs
Greek Pasta Salad
Yummy Potato Salad
Hope you have a wonderful holiday!

Linking up to:
The Girl Creative

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Bye-bye flip phone...hello DROID!

Just trying to figure out how this darn thing works!

Does anyone have any apps they would recommend?

Friday, June 25, 2010

Thanks & Thirst-quenching Summer Sweet Tea

Before I get into the post, I wanted to say a big "THANK YOU!" to all the people that read this blog. I hit 100 followers yesterday! How amazing is that? I started this blog about a year ago just thinking it sounded fun and it turned into a huge part of my life. Thank you so much for your support, sweet comments, and smiles. : )

Living in the Chicago burbs my whole life, I never had sweet tea. Just recently in the past few years, I've tried it a few times in central Indiana where it's more common. It's so hard to find good sweet tea around here besides McDonald's, so we wanted to try to make some of our own. I was a little nervous that it would be bad, but it was surprisingly good! I definitely recommend this recipe if you want a summery drink. Thanks to Sweet Southern Prep for the recipe : )

• 4 family-size tea bags
• 1.5 cups sugar
• 1 gallon water

Pour water in a large pot and bring to a boil.

Add sugar and tea bags and stir.

Remove the pot from the stove and let stand for 20 minutes to cool off.

Pour into a gallon container and fill the rest with tap water.

SO good! Perfect for summer!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Easy Painting Tips

Now that I feel I'm an experienced wall painter, I realize how much I've learned along the way. I hope these quick tips can help you out on your next project!

Ever get those nasty little pieces of blue painters tape that just don't come off? You rip off the whole piece of tape and are left with an annoying little corner that's too tiny to scrape off? You could do the lazy thing and just leave it...or you can try this easy tip!

Grab your tweezers from your makeup bag and use them to peel off that little piece of tape.

So easy!

I think we've all painted our trim and then realized the lines came out uneven. Grab a small craft painting brush and use it to touch up corners and edges. It's a little time-consuming, but strangely therapeutic for me : )
My perfectionist tendencies come out in full force when I paint!

When I'm done painting for the day, but I know I'll be doing more the next day, I wrap my paintbrushes and rollers in foil and keep them in the fridge. That way, you don't have to wash your brush and wait 24 hours for it to dry between uses.

Any other painting tips you'd like to share with me? I have many more rooms to paint!

Linking up to:
The Thrifty Home's Penny Pinching Party
Domestically Speaking: Painting Party

Monday, June 21, 2010

Healthy Spinach Meatloaf and Steamed Broccoli

We've been trying to eat healthier lately, so I'm always looking for healthy recipes that still taste good. And I love anything that's great leftover so I have a quick and easy meal for later in the week.

I also got a chance to pull out the vegetable steamer that's been in hiding for almost 6 years. I completely forgot about it until we went to make this!

Spinach Meatloaf
• 1 t salt
• 1/4 c low-fat parmesan cheese
• 1/2 c feta cheese
• 1.5 lbs ground turkey
• 1.5 c breadcrumbs
• 1/2 t pepper
• 8 oz. can evaporated milk
• 10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach, thawed
• 1 T Italian seasoning
• 3/4 T minced garlic
• 1 T onion powder

Heat oven to 400.
In a large bowl, combine all the ingredients.

Using your hands, shape into a loaf and pour into a lightly greased 1 lb loaf pan.
Bake for 45 minutes.

Steamed Broccoli
• 1/2 T garlic powder
• 1 t black pepper
• 1 t salt
• 1 T lemon juice
• 1 t butter
• fresh broccoli

Cut broccoli into small pieces.

Pour broccoli and other ingredients into steamer.

Set timer for 12-14 minutes and steam until soft.
(This also works with a pot steamer on the stove.)

Super easy and very healthy! Enjoy!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Happy Father's Day Weekend

Wishing everyone an early Happy Father's Day!
I'm very excited to spend Father's Day with my dad (and the rest of them family).

In honor of the holiday, I'm posting 10 unique things about my dad:

• gave me my body shape, long legs, and pasty skin

• taught me to clip coupons and shop for bargains when I was very young

• used to take me shopping and to craft fairs when my mom was busy

• was known for his "toaster oven" dinners when he was feeling lazy

• taught me to ride a bike even when I was scared and crying

• always loves to take me out for ice cream

• danced with me at my wedding to "I Just Called to Say I Love You" because he used to sing that to me as a kid

• gave me my fabulous multi-tasking skills

• secretly loves that I live only 2 blocks away now

• will do anything for his first born baby : )

Please feel free to join in and post your own 10 unique things about your dad! I'd love to read them!

Linking up to:
The Girl Creative

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Tasty Gorgonzola & Onion Cheeseball

Cheeseballs are very popular in the hubby's family on holidays, so we wants to try to make one of our own. I made it as an appetizer for a party and it was a huge hit! I want to thank Ashlee for the inspiration for this yummy recipe.

• 1 T olive oil
• 1/2 large yellow onion, diced
• salt & pepper
• 1/2 t thyme
• 8 oz. softened cream cheese
• 1/2 c gorgonzola crumbles
• 1.5 c crushed walnuts
• crackers and veggies

Pour olive oil into a medium skillet and warm over medium heat.

Add diced onion, season with salt, pepper, and thyme. Saute for for 20 minutes and then let cool.

In a large bowl, add softened cream cheese and gorgonzola crumbles.
When the onions are cool, add them to the bowl and mix well.

Shape cheese and onions into a ball and place on a piece of foil.

Refrigerate for at least 4 hours so the cheese can harden.

When you're almost ready to serve the cheeseball, pour walnuts into a large, shallow bowl.

Coat the ball with walnuts.

Serve with crackers or veggies.

I also got to use my cheese tray for the first time since I got it as a wedding gift almost 3 years ago. Fun! Now I kinda want the matching salad bowl and serving tray...

Monday, June 14, 2010

Runner's Hair?

I just made up a new term called runner's hair. Maybe some of you know about this horrible condition. You go for an awesome run and feel great. Then you realize your hair is completely knotted and a huge mess! I have to spent so long combing out all the knots and I end up losing so much hair in the process.

So does anyone else have this problem? What do you do to solve it?

My hair won't stay in a bun because it slips out when I'm running. Any ideas?

Save my ponytail!

Friday, June 11, 2010

If you have to clean, you need to look cute! wearing these!

I have a slight obsession with cute cleaning gloves.

So I have these.

And these (thanks to my friend Kelly)
And here's me cleaning with my cute blue gloves.

I promise that wearing them DOES make cleaning a little more fun!So anyway, after buying all these cute pairs of gloves, I figured I should try to make my own. It was a little more complicated than I thought, but they came out pretty cute and I'm excited to share them with you!

•rubber cleaning gloves
•fabric for ruffles
•matching ribbon
•bows or any other cute accessories to add

I started by making the ruffles. I'd like to thank Nina over at Mamas Little Treasures for her great tutorial on how to create ruffles on the sewing machine. This was my first time making ruffles the "real" way and her tutorial made it pretty easy for me to follow.

I measured out the ruffled fabric to fit the gloves. One the fabric is ruffled, it will only be about 1/2 of the original length, so I needed to use a piece that was going to be long enough. I cut a piece for each glove that was 28" x 8" and then folded them in half so they measured 28" x 4".
I ironed the crease and then pinned the two sides together along the raw edges.
I set my sewing machine to the longest stitch length which was 5.0. Then I sewed two straight lines close to the edge of the fabric (not the folded side, but the raw edge side). I would not suggest reinforcing your stitches because it will make it more difficult to create the ruffles in the next step.
Once I was done sewing, I lightly pulled on one of the threads and gathered the fabric to start creating the ruffle. It takes some patience, but I started to see the ruffle take shape.

To make the ruffle circular, I sewed the two edges together.
Once both pieces are ruffled and circular, I lined them up along the inside edge of the cleaning gloves and pinned. It took a couple attempts to get the fabric to gather evenly, but it's important to make them look uniform.

This is how the glove looks from the outside.
The two lines I sewed to make the ruffle are hidden on the inside of the glove.

Slowly sew along the edge of the glove to attach the ruffle. Sewing through rubber make a really funny sound, but it worked just fine on my machine.
I measured out 11 inches of ribbon for each glove and pinned it on right at the edge of the glove.
This is even more challenging to sew on because the ribbon kept slipping on the rubber glove. But it worked! If you feel more comfortable, hand-sewing might be easier for this step.
I decided my gloves still needed one last accessory, so I added some little white bows.
These were just sewn on by hand.
And my finished product is done!

And what a coincidence that these happen to match the apron I made last year!
I'm going to be a cute & accessorized Kitchen Diva now!
Linking up to:
The Girl Creative
Fine Craft Guild
Flaunt it Friday
Frugalicious Friday
Feature Yourself Friday
Look at Me Party
It's a Hodgepodge Friday
Fab Friday
Check Me Out Saturday
Crafty Saturday
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